JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

OZIL NOT GOING ANYWHERE, SAYS BREMAN

Interest in Werder Breman’s midfield maestro Mesut Ozil is at a fever-pitch across Europe. A situation that can only get more sensational with Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs claiming that no one in the World Cup has performed better than the German International, but Allofs was not putting his prize talent, who has a year left on his contract at Breman, in the shop window.

“Transfer income is one of our main income sources,” Allofs told German paper Bild. “But we also have to think about our sporting goals. We have the Champions League preliminaries coming up and we need a good team to be successful in Europe,”

“Mesut’s current contract runs until 2011 and we’re keen to extend his stay at the club. However, we’re not planning to cash in on him if he refuses to ink a new deal. We could decide to keep him until his contract expires.

“We’d rather not see him leave on a free transfer next year, but it’s definitely an option. Mesut is going nowhere for now.”

That is not stopping the giants of European football from making the attempt to snatch the 21-year-old. Ozil is being saught by Inter Milan Arsenal and Real Madrid as well as Barcelona who have come up with a creative transfer to attempt to address Bundesliga sides needs.

The Catalan giants have proposed a deal that would send Alexander Hleb in exchange for the players rights but Ozil would stay with Breman on a years loan.

ARSENAL FINALLY SIGN KOSCIELNY

Arsene Wenger’s long pursuit of center back Laurent Koscielny is finally at an end.

Arsenal have signed the Ligue 1 standout after months of pursuit. Details of the 24-year-old’s contract were not released, though the signing was reported to be in the 128 million range. The clubs website stated only that the defender has signed a “long-term contract” and was given the No.6 shirt.

Arsenal fans will breathe a sigh of relief as the signing will help shore up a team that has lost Philippe Senderos in a move to Fulham and has Sol Campbell, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre all of contract. Koscielny joins Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou as the only senior central defenders at the Emirates.

“Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient,” Wenger told the club’s site. “We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he’s a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad.”

The defender, who is eligible to play internationally for both France and Poland, was quick to return the praise.

“I’m very excited to be joining Arsenal,” Koscielny said. “They are one of the biggest teams in Europe with many great players. I’m really looking forward to playing in the English Premier League and the Champions League with my new club. Also, in Arsene Wenger, Arsenal has one of the best managers in the world and I can’t wait to work with him and do my best for the Arsenal supporters.”

Koscielny was named Ligue 2’s best player for the 2008-09 season when playing for Tours and after joining Lorient 12 months ago, impressed as the club finished seventh in the French top flight last season.

HAMMERS KLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR

Premier League side West Ham United have revealed a deal was in place to sign German International Miroslav Klose from Bayern Munich.

Bayern were set to allow the 32-year-old to leave the club on a free transfer after a poor season at club level that saw him net just six goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for the Champions League finalists.

Klose’s reversal of fortunes at the World Cup has raised the strikers profile and certainly his value

at the Bavarian superclub. The Polish born striker scored four goals in five games for Germany, increasing his overall output for his adopted homeland to a staggering 52 goals in 101 appearances.

Hammers co-owner David Sullivan told Soccernet: “We had a deal in place before the World Cup, after he had a bad season in Germany. However, as a result of what he has done at the World Cup, it’s unlikely to happen.”

West Ham, according to Soccernet, had agreed to pay half of Klose’s $212,000-a-week wages, freeing up some payroll money for Munich.

CELTIC STILL TRYING TO WRAP UP KEANE

A loan extension for Ireland striker Robbie Keane are still being pursued by Glasgow Celtic, according to assistant manager at Parkhead Johan Mjallby. The 30-year-old Keane had a standout time for the Scottish Premier League side after being loaned there from Tottenham Hotspur.

Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer, Keane bagged 16 goals in 19 games for the hoops last season, but his permanent price tag is just too much for the Glasgow superclub.

Mjallby told the Daily Mail that a permanent move would be financially “impossible” for Celtic and recommended a second loan move as a “perfect” solution.

“He is out of our reach when it comes to buying him.” Mjallby said. “But a loan would be perfect for us. To buy someone at Robbie’s level would be impossible. We don’t have that kind of money.”

“The only way we could get that kind of player would be to ride our luck and maybe find someone on loan and make sure it’s a quality player who is going to give us goals. But we have the lure of European football at Celtic. From my own memories it’s very important as a player. It’s a great opportunity to play against the best and develop.”

Keane has scored 91 goals for Spurs and is now in his second spell at White Hart Lane, but Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp didn’t see the striker as part of his starting XI at White Hart Lane and sent the striker on loan.

The loan proved a boon to both Keane and to Celtic, and new Hoops boss Neil Lennon will certainly want a prolific goalscorer in his side if they are to recover the top spot in the SPL from rivals Rangers.

“Has Neil been speaking to Robbie? Definitely,” Mjallby said, speaking of his new boss’s plans, but it is the plans of the minds at Tottenham that will decide Keane’s fate, and Mjallby was quick to concede, “I don’t know Tottenham’s thinking when it comes to Robbie.

CITY WRAP UP SILVA EYE FABIO COENTRAO

Manchester City have completed the signing of the 24-year-old Spanish international David Silva on a four-year deal, which will completed after the World Cup and a medical, according to the clubs official site.

“I want to be an important player in Manchester City’s history” Silva said.

Meanwhile City have joined Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the pursuit of Benfica’s Fabio Coentrao, according to the Daily Mirror.

The versatile 23-year-old Portugese international has started appearing on big teams radars after having an impressive World Cup as well as a highly regarded season at double-winners Benfica.

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One Response to “JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS”

  1. JULY 9 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS « GOODMAN BROWNE ON THE PITCH Says:

    […] READ… JULY 8 SHORT CORNERS […]

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